St. Pierre vs. Hardy

The main event of Saturday’s UFC 111: St. Pierre vs. Hardy event is the UFC Welterweight Championship bout between Georges St. Pierre and Dan Hardy.

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St. Pierre enters the fight as the clear favorite with a betting line of -800 with Hardy given a line of +550 according to online sports book SPORTSBETTING.com. Here is a closer look at both fighters heading into this bout, which will take place from the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey at 10PM ET on Pay Per-View.
Georges St. Pierre (19-2):
Strengths
: St. Pierre has many strengths and his overall ability is up to par with any fighter in the world based on weight class. A true athlete in every sense of the word, St. Pierre is light on his feet and mixes strikes as well as anyone in MMA. He also is very good at disguising his takedown attempts and rarely fails at bringing down his opponents. Along with all that, he has a black belt in jiu-jitsu and can work submissions from the ground.
Weaknesses: St. Pierre doesn’t seem to have a glaring weakness, but he has failed to finished fights as of late. He has went the distance in two of his last three fights, but been very dominant in the process. Many fighters argue that he has a weak chin, but his notable loss to Matt Serra was more because a blow to the back of his head that threw off his balance than his poor stand up ability. In this fight St. Pierre could get knocked out, but he is smart at avoiding damage. Some see that as a weakness, but it is more about being a strategic fighter.
Last Five Fights:
Unanimous decision win over Thiago Alves at UFC 100 on July 11, 2009

Fourth Round TKO win over B.J. Penn at UFC 94 on Jan. 31, 2009

Unanimous decision win over Jon Fitch at UFC 87 on Aug. 9, 2008

Second round TKO win over Matt Serra at UFC 83 on April 19, 2008

Second round submission win over Matt Hughes at UFC 79 on Dec. 29, 2007.
 
Dan Hardy (23-6):
Strengths: Hardy has relished in the underdog role, winning his last two big fights when he wasn’t favored by oddsmakers, but this time, he is the major underdog. Hardy is all about striking, as his powerful hands and knees make him a threat to win any fight. Hardy has nothing to lose in this bout as everyone expects him to be beaten, yet he has won his last seven fights and defeated some respectable fighters in Mike Swick and Marcus Davis.
Weaknesses: Hardy seems to be only able to win this fight with striking, and his takedown defense is not strong enough to keep St. Pierre from getting this fight to the ground. Hardy will have to show improved ground defense skills in this fight in order to win. He simply can’t rely on landing a haymaker and hoping he wins. Hardy has also not went five rounds in a fight like St. Pierre has, so conditioning could be an issue.
Last Five Fights:
Unanimous decision win over Mike Swick at UFC 105 on Nov. 14, 2009

Split decision win over Marcus Davis at UFC 99 on June 13, 2009

First round KO win over Rory Markham at UFC 95 on Feb. 21, 2009

Split decision win over Akihiro Gono at UFC 89 on Oct. 18, 2008

Second round TKO win over Daniel Weichel at UF-Punishment on May 3, 2008
 
Who will win: St. Pierre looks to be too much for Hardy. Hardy could win by knockout, but we wouldn’t put our money on it. St. Pierre should be able to get this fight to the ground and work his ground and pound striking. Look for a late stoppage on Hardy in rounds four or five.
Additional Line: Over/Under 16 minutes for fight length. Over (+110) and Under (-150)
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Posted: 3/25/10 6:17PM ET

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